The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog


Study: "Blind working time" at the computer

Close your eyes when you can

That is the bottom line of this mini-study: Close your eyes when you can at work, because even if it’s just a little, it seems to help.

I imagine people who are in pain while using a computer already do this. But… then again, maybe not! And many people would rather not be constantly dousing their eyes with drops packed with unknown ingredients. Goggles are good, and closed eye time is good. Reducing the aperture by lowering your screen is also useful. And of course, conscious attention to your blink frequency is helpful. Try a blinker!

Blind working time in visual display terminal users

Fujita et al, Journal of Occupational Health, March 2019.



Blind working (BW) time (time during which vision is not required), the interblink interval (IBI), and subjective symptoms were investigated in workers using visual display terminals (VDTs).


To investigate BW time, 10 VDT users were instructed to close their eyes when this did not interfere with their work. They were video recorded for 60 minutes using a webcam attached to the display on which they were engaged in regular data input tasks, and BW time was measured. The values of the IBI during the final 20 minutes of the BW experiment and during the final 20 minutes of normal working without BW were compared. A questionnaire was administered to investigate subjective symptoms using a visual analogue scale.


The total BW time during the final 20-minute period was 20.6-121.0 seconds (1.7%-10.1%). The mean IBI of 5.5 ± 4.5 seconds during the BW experiment was not significantly different from that of 6.2 ± 5.6 seconds during normal working, and the mean of three IBIs immediately after BW during the BW experiment was 2.7 ± 1.0 seconds, significantly shorter than the 6.2 ± 5.6 seconds during normal working. Dry eye, ocular fatigue, and blurred vision during normal working improved when subjects were engaged in BW.


VDT users could engage in BW [Blind Working] during VDT work, the IBI [interblink interval] was shorter immediately after BW, and subjective symptoms improved. These results suggest that BW may provide a more effective measure for the management of VDT working time.

Long-term computer use and dry eye

I love the idea of this study! (It’s a bit older, but just hit my feed recently.) They looked at 30 people using a computer for 8 hours a day, versus 30 people who spend less than 1 hour per day on the computer.


Somebody forgot to tell us what “long-term” means. Hello? 6 months? 5 years?

I’m sure it’s in the study itself. Unfortunately there’s no email contact information listed on PubMed. Oh well, maybe next time someone will use a little checklist before going to press.

Effects of long-term computer use on eye dryness.

Akkaya et al, Northern Clinics of Istanbul, Aug 2018



To evaluate the effects of long-term computer use on tear production and evaporation.


In this study, 30 eyes of 30 people using computer for 8 hours a day were taken as the study group. In the control group, 30 eyes of 30 healthy individuals who did not spend 1 hour using computer on a daily basis were evaluated. The cases were examined at 8 am and 5 pm. The Schirmer test, tear break-up time (TBUT), and ocular surface disease index (OSDI) were evaluated.


There was no significant difference between the groups in terms of age and gender. The Schirmer test results, which measure the parameters of tear production, were 16.80±2.04 and 15.50±2.06 mm (p>0.05) in the study group, and 17.28±1.52 and 17.16±2.53 in the control group. The TBUT measurements were 9.15±2.93 and 6.80±1.11 sec in the study group. It was observed that the evening TBUT decreased (p<0.05). The TBUT measurements were 15.80±3.15 sec and 15.20±1.92 sec (p>0.05) in the control group. The OSDI scores were 26.7±3.36 and 28.3±1.19 in the study group, and 25.0±4.48 and 27.3±2.27 in the control group.


As a result, it was found that a long-term computer use did not change the Schirmer test results significantly, but there were statistically significant changes in the tear break-up time (TBUT) results of the evaporative type eye dryness. According the our study results, long-term computer usage may cause an evaporative-type dry eye disease.